The Vols are in the mix to land yet another big-time prospect.
Receiver Ryan Newsome (5-9, 170 pounds) of Aledo, Tex., announced that Tennessee is in his top three on Tuesday evening, joining Texas and UCLA.
My top 3 are The Ucla Bruins, Texas Longhorns, and The Tennessee Volunteers!
— Ryan Newsome (@NewBoi17) December 24, 2014
Newsome is the top-rated realistic receiver on Tennessee’s board at this point. The Vols are looking for a second true receiver prospect in this class to pair with Preston Williams, who will be coming to Knoxville off of a knee injury sustained late in his senior season.
Newsome could be the perfect compliment to Williams in this class. Whereas Williams brings size and the ability to stretch the field vertically, Newsome is an undersized, shifty receiver more in the mold of Pig Howard. He runs crisp routes, creates separation and could be an ideal fit in the slot in UT’s offense.
“Displays excellent quickness and burst at the wide receiver position,” ESPN.com wrote in a scouting report. “Quick, sudden and creates separation off the snap. Elusive after the catch, and shows sure hands and the ability to control his body. Also a threat in the punt return game.”
More analysis from his RTI profile:
“He is deceptively strong for his size and does a nice job of finishing runs by getting low and delivering the hit instead of receiving it. He has exceptional balance and a low center of gravity which makes him difficult to get to the ground without a clean shot, and he has exceptional vision and cutting ability to find the openings in the defense and hit them at full speed. Newsome would give Tennessee a very versatile athlete with the ability to line up in a bunch of different places on both offense and special teams.”
The Vols are relatively deep at receiver with as many as 11 scholarship receivers set to return in 2015, but if 2014 taught the Vols anything, it’s that there’s no such thing as too much depth at this spot after four receivers had their seasons ended early due to injury and others battled nagging issues throughout the season. And in Butch Jones’ fast-paced offense that spreads the ball around, receivers coach Zach Azzanni would be glad to add another piece.
Pulling Newsome away from the home-state Longhorns will be a task, but the Vols at least remain in the hunt for this coveted prospect.